Feeds

Microsoft knew about Xbox 360 disc-scratch problem, employee claims

Fresh court documents uncover the 'truth'

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Microsoft knew prior to the Xbox 360’s launch that the console can damage discs if gamers tilt the unit while a disc’s spinning inside, documents from a lawsuit focused on the problem reveal.

The revelation was made by Hiroo Umeno, a Microsoft programmer, in an ongoing case that was filed with the Seattle District Court in July 2007. The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status on behalf of affected gamers, but the documents containing Umeno’s confession have only just been unsealed at the court, according to a report by website Seattle Tech.

The documents - seen by Register Hardware - state that the problem was initally discovered by Microsoft back in “September or October” of 2005. The console launched Stateside in November 2005.

After the 360's launch, Microsoft dispatched a team of engineers to retail stores across the US to investigate complaints that the console was scratching discs. It’s at this point that Microsoft determined that “if you tilt the [console] to the left or forward... you’ll cause a scratch”, it’s claimed in the documents.

Microsoft’s engineers, according to Umeno's testimony, found that scratches were caused by game discs becoming “unchucked” and colliding with the optical pickup unit. This action causes “deep circular rings” on discs.

It’s worth noting that Microsoft has already issued several ‘fixes’, including a disc replacement programme for gamers and a warning sticker placed on new Xbox 360s that tilting the console with a disc inside could result in disc damage.

Roughly 55,000 Xbox 360 owners had complained about scratched discs as of 30 April this year, according to the court documents. Several other lawsuits have also been launched against Microsoft from disgruntled gamers with scratched discs.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
NOKIA - Not FINNished yet! BEHOLD the somewhat DULL MYSTERY DEVICE!
N1 mini-'slab to plop into crowded pond next year
The Nokia ENIGMA THING and its SECRET, TERRIBLE purpose
Finnish firm coyly exposes mystery product – and WE NO what it is
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'
Sugarcoating Android's Lollipop makes tab easier to swallow
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.